3 Ways to Re-Center in the New Year

If you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the previous year, we want to remind you of a few disciplines that can be transformational: the Bible reading process known as Lectio Divina, daily prayer, and fasting.

Laiza Angel

January 8, 2024


Spiritual Disciplines

3 Ways to Re-Center in the New Year

Written by Laiza Santos and Edited by Kevin King, MC Students and PCG Global Resources Interns

As we enter 2024, it might be necessary to reevaluate and re-center into the new season. Especially if you feel like you’re carrying the weight of 2023, we want to remind you of a few disciplines that can be transformational by the power of the Holy Spirit. Below, you’ll read of three practices that can enrich your spiritual journey—Bible reading, prayer, and fasting. And through these practices, we invite you to embark on a growth process that intertwines ancient wisdom with a sort of contemporary living that is life with God.

1) Bible Reading (Lectio Divina)

Lectio Divina or “divine reading” is an approach to the Scriptures that sets us up to listen for the Word of God spoken to us in the present moment. According to Ruth Haley Barton in the book Sacred Rhythms, the practice of Lectio Divina is rooted in the belief that through the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Scripture can come alive and become an active agent in spiritual transformation.

1. Read (lectio): Read over a selected text multiple times slowly. As you read, listen for a word or phrase that catches your attention.

2. Reflect (meditatio): How is my life touched by this word? Ask yourself, What part of my life right now needs to hear this word? If you’re reading a narrative, ask yourself, Where am I in this scene? What do I hear as I imagine myself in the story? Could these words be addressed specifically to me? How do the dynamics of this story connect with my own life experiences? Explore thoughts, perceptions, and sensory impressions.

3. Respond (oratio): What is my response to God based on what I have read and encountered? In silence after reading, allow your prayer to flow spontaneously from your heart as fully and as truly as you can. Pay attention to any invitation from God that calls you to act or respond in some way to the word you have heard.

4. Rest in God (contemplatio): Read the text over once more. In this final reading, you are invited to release and return to a place of rest in God.

5. Live it out (incarnatio): Apply the text to your own life or situation. As you emerge from this personal encounter with God and move into the company of others, resolve to carry this word with you and live it out in the context of daily activity.

2) Prayer

Even though prayer is essential and should be integrated into our daily routines, many of us struggle to engage consistently. But with some practical guidance, prayer can move from a daunting task and into a spiritually fulfilling experience. May we together participate in prayer with intentionality, and in the process may we experience greater intimacy with the divine despite the hustle and bustle of contemporary life.

Schedule It: Incorporate prayer into your daily routine by scheduling it in your calendar. While perfection may be challenging, having prayer on your calendar increases the likelihood of consistent engagement. Leverage technology by using a computer or phone calendar to set reminders and alerts for prayer sessions. Minimize distractions by silencing your phone or switching it into airplane mode, and consider posturing yourself into an upright position to maintain focus.

Pray with Scriptures: Utilize Scriptures in your prayers to overcome the challenge of finding the “right” words. Pray with the Psalms to spark adoration and praise or with Paul’s exhortations to seek perspective. Pray along with your morning Bible reading, or search for scriptural prayers online.

Practice Prayer Journaling: Engage in prayer journaling to express your heart in written form. This method is especially beneficial if you communicate better through written text, and it helps maintain focus while avoiding distractions. The added advantage of prayer journaling is the ability to revisit past entries so that you can witness and appreciate God’s goodness, particularly when prayers have been answered.

3) Fasting

Embarking on a period of fasting is not merely a dietary endeavor but a spiritual journey that demands intentional connection with the God. In other words, fasting must always include prayer and praise; and in turn, it should foster gratitude for blessings received and build unwavering faith to navigate the present and future.

More Than Food: Without incorporating intentional times of prayer and Bible study, fasting can quickly devolve into a mere dietary regimen. Allow the Spirit to fuel your soul. While fasting may not be a biblical command, it is certainly a heavenly expectation. “When you fast...” (Mt. 6:16)

Connect Through Worship: Part of the beauty of worship, especially while fasting, involves its ability to “clear the stage” of any form of idolatry or distraction. Fasting itself is a form of worship, as it presents an opportunity to illustrate your immense desire for God above any other form of sustenance. So, prioritize your commitment to God during this period, and always end your fast with an expression of gratitude to God for His numerous blessings and guidance. In fact, you might even be able to revisit your prayer and fasting journal to reflect on answered prayers and new mercies.


When the weight of the world feels heaviest, we can be assured of the fact that there is freedom in the presence of the Lord. There is good news for us today: We have easy access to His presence! But that truth also leaves us with an all-important question: Are we intentionally pursuing His presence?

The disciplines discussed above represent opportunities or practices that can help us draw nearer to the Lord and ultimately live in abundance of peace and love. When we listen for the living Word of God, we experience spiritual transformation in the present moment. When we pray, we experience intimacy with God amidst the clamor of contemporary life. And when we fast, we experience spiritual abundance in a manner that outweighs any physical benefit. May these inspire and carry you into 2024.

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